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The First Bad Man by Miranda July -A Book Review

Updated on December 30, 2015

The First Bad Man

Cover of the copy that I read.
Cover of the copy that I read. | Source


Rating: * * *

I rated this story three stars because at first I had hope for it and thought it was going to be a great novel. It grabbed my attention immediately and I saw that as a good sign. As I continued to read, I was proven wrong.

This story was beyond unbelievable, if there's even a word for that. The characters possessed no morals whatsoever. Not even one, who would've shown others the right path to live with their lives. I feel that one character, especially a major one, should've known what was right. What these people did disgusted me with their actions.

The ending was one of the worst I've read in a novel. It made no sense whatsoever. It was an epilogue that I felt wasn't needed. The story would've made sense if it ended on the last chapter. There was no point to the epilogue as it had nothing to do with the rest of the novel. July should've connected it to the novel so that it would've made sense to the reader.


Rating: *

I gave the main characters, Cheryl, Chloe, and Philip, one star because of how they were written. They didn't seem real to me at all and they were very unbelievable. Cheryl is a middle-aged woman who fantasizes about Philip, thought he doesn't want her that way. She takes in Chloe, who is the daughter of co-workers, and they get off to a bad start immediately. Chloe is physically abusive towards Cheryl and instead getting help, Cheryl encourages it by fighting back. Philip I found to be the worst of them all as he is a man in his 60's and he wants to be with a 16 year old girl. He wants Cheryl's blessing for him to get with the teen girl, which she finally gives him. How could she do that and think it's morally right? To top it off, Chloe gets pregnant by Philip and at first wants to give the baby up for adoption so she wouldn't have to deal with the responsibility of her actions. Each of these characters it was hard to find one good quality about them, which I found appalling.

I didn't like one of these characters. I found their actions to be disgusting and feel that if at least one of them had morals, the novel would've been better. Cheryl's ideas of how to deal with Chloe were beyond stupid as they encouraging the fighting. Then just like that, she and Chloe discover they have feelings for each other. That's far out there to believe.

Chloe was abusive and not once cared that she was hurting Cheryl. How in the end is it possible to have feelings for her at the end? She didn't even care about the baby when she was pregnant. All she cared about was herself.

Philip was sick to sleep with a teenager. And worse, to get Chloe pregnant. He along with the other two had no morals.


Rating: *

I wish I could tell you what the theme to this novel was, but I can't. I spent majority of the time reading it disgusted with the people that I don't even think there is a major theme that July follows in her writing.


Rating: * * * * *

I gave the language of the book a high rating because of how easy it was to read. I may not like July's ideas for this novel but it was a fast read. It also may have been because I couldn't wait to get this book done and over with. There were parts that I found the actions between the characters, Chloe and Cheryl, that I couldn't wait to get passed by.


In conclusion, I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book to anyone who has some kind of morals in their life. In fact I have told people I know in person not to read this book because it just got more and more disgusting. I really had hope for this book when I began it but it went downhill quite quickly.

I am interested in knowing what others in my reading group thought about this novel. And also if anyone who is reading this review and read the book, what did you think? I would love to have a discussion about it.

The Next Book Review:

Book I am currently reading and will be the next review once I am done reading it.
Book I am currently reading and will be the next review once I am done reading it. | Source

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